Years in a Day, a Live DVD/CD combo, is the latest release from Sweden’s Cult of Luna. A DVD featuring a 13-song live performance and two live CDs, each with 7-song performances, are included.
Intense photographic artwork and thorough visual coverage of their live set make this release a special experience and a physical release that will highlight any collection.
To over complicate, or wax too deep, a review of this release is not particularly necessary but let’s see if I can adhere to a reserved approach. What I will say is no component on this release fails. It is a lively visual presentation assigned to a vinyl-size 10” tri-fold package. Esteemed photographer Maria Louceiro provides the still photography, and whose approach to this project heavily affected the design. It is interesting to go back and listen to long time Cult of Luna associate Erik Olofsson, who handled Art Direction duties for Years in a Day, discuss during the Vertikal sessions working with Cult of Luna on the band’s visual presentation. Some of the descriptives that came up for Vertikal’s art direction also emerge on this release. The art can shape the first experience when viewing or listening to a piece of material and Cult of Luna is cognizant of this.
The subject of this review is certainly the convergence of the above mentioned visual components with the music of Cult of Luna and appropriately so for a DVD release. However, all the elements of Years in a Day (that is the art, the music, and the live performance) are strong pieces individually. Two live sets, one each from the 2013 and 2016 editions of Roadburn Festival, are included on separate CDs. The 8-camera set-up captures the monolith that is Cult of Luna. Certainly you would expect to catch moments of separation with so many cameras rolling, however the edit provides a most mysterious, engaging experience.
I never feel like the curtain is pulled completely back even in the most well-lit of moments. Perhaps I am not totally right, but it seems to me that the cuts with the most light were from less than revealing camera positions; either from a back or side or without many members in the shot. This highlights the idea that at its most base level this band’s identity is in the music. I find it odd to be discussing a DVD assembled from multiple cameras that captured a show where everyone in the audience on the stage can have a different, yet unified experience; it almost seems more appropriate to make an active effort in not digging too deep to review this release.
Amidst that camera work, and the smoke and light show, the silhouettes and enormous sound conjure a single perfect assembly. If you like Cult of Luna it seems safe to say you like drums/percussion/big sounds! The drums are a diverse, interesting highlight package. The contrast of panning the drums with motionless tight shots certainly accentuates the sonic depth of these percussion instruments, as does the raw engagement at the hands of the the operators. I think I felt more punched in the face by the drums on the Fire Was Born DVD, but I still like what Years in a Day does for the percussion as a whole. The entire band sounds great.
Years in a Day does not feel like a reproduction of Fire Was Born and I would be interested in hearing thoughts from anyone who attended the show then watched Years in a Day.
In fan-friendly Cult of Luna fashion, if you are unable to purchase the full Years in a Day package, you can purchase a video file of just the show directly from their website.
We as fans are faced everyday with mystification at what we are capable of, the obliteration of our senses in various mediums, and art emerging in many forms. And for a lot of people, music provides a community to share experiences with others, to create, and to listen to good shit. Cult of Luna respectfully embraces these dynamics with thoughtful, dense releases, and self-imposed high expectations for their live performances.
View the work of Maria Louceiro here http://www.marialouceiro.com
10.0 / 10
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